THERE’S ALWAYS MORE

 

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.  John 10:10  (KJV)

 

 

I just read about a lady who was known for her extraordinary Christian maturity.  One day her pastor asked her to preach the Sunday sermon believing that her experience would be instructive to the congregation.  On the Sunday when the lady rose to speak, her sermon was short and sweet.  “Dear Friends,” she began, “there’s always more.”  And with that, she sat down.

Just begin to ponder that simple message:  there’s always more.  The God of the Infinite, the one who promised to meet all our needs, the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (ending), the great Creator never operates in scarcity.  He never runs out of any resource—of love, of grace, of mercy, of patience, of whatever we need.  And there’s no end to the delights of knowing him.

Think of what this means in your present circumstance.  As a parent, spouse, friend, employer:  there’s more wisdom, there’s more understanding, there are more ideas, there’s more love…  As an intellectual:  there’s more to contemplate, there’s more to learn, there’s more to investigate, there’s more for growth…   As a leader:  there’s more direction, there’s more discernment, there are more resources, there’s more creativity…  As a disciple:  there’s more to discover, there’s more to obey, there’s more to abandon, there’s more to enjoy…  We could fill in the blanks indefinitely.  Suffice it to say, that in Christ, there is abundance.

Lest we consider God as having limited resources, just look at his provision for the Children of Israel in the wilderness; for Elijah in hiding; for Ruth in Bethlehem; for David in his wanderings; for Israel in exile; for feeding the four thousand and five thousand; for rescuing you and me; and for the times he is always there for his people.  His hand is not shortened that he cannot save nor is he deaf that he cannot hear our prayers (Isaiah 59:1).

We sometimes treat our spiritual beings as add-ons.  They’re peripheral to our real lives.  But Jesus says I’ve come to give you abundant life, more than we’re currently experiencing.  If we’re not living in abundance, there’s more.  God has more for us than we can think or imagine and waits for us to move beyond our impoverished selfishness into his endless provision of more.  Wherever we find ourselves, there’s always more.  Dare we take the challenge?

 

Father, charge our spiritual imaginations that we reach out in faith to you to receive more from your goodness.  Move us beyond our spiritual poverty into the richness we have in Christ Jesus.  Gratefully, we pray in Jesus’ name.  AMEN.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER*

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  John 15:12  (NIV)

 

Sermons are all around us—if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.  The totality of Jesus’ life was a seismic paradigm shift from the letter to the spirit of the law.  When he said, “Love one another,” he was pointing toward an internal work of the Spirit that would carry believers beyond the obligatory going the first mile and perfunctory forgiveness into abandoned display of God’s love through us.

That’s what we saw that twilight in Uganda.  I had asked our guide if we could please see some lions, a lion?  We traveled through miles of dusty roads cut through the game preserve, and then we stopped.  Just in front of our van was a gorgeous male lion at the side of the road under a bush only yards from us.  His tail politely, but effectively, stretched across the path blocking our further approach.  In his golden aura, he quietly surveyed us and his kingdom.

Momentarily, a second lion, as splendid as the first, arrived, and the lions embraced.  Their greeting was warm, full of affection, and deeply moving.  Not the National Geographic attack that we’d been programmed to see.

Four years ago when the first lion was found by park rangers, his leg had been caught in a poacher’s trap, and infection had already gone to the bone.  The resident vet determined that the leg had to be amputated to save the lion’s life.  And so it was that the king of the jungle was no longer able to hunt or protect himself.  But his brother appeared, and for four years the brother has walked with him and guarded him, and the females have brought him food.

We watched in silence.  Loving one another.  That’s what we saw.

 

Father, you’ve told us that the animals will teach us.  Help us to love the weak, the marginalized, the needy, and all those you’ve put in our lives—just as you love us.  In Jesus our Lord.  AMEN.